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Bali Police Crack Down on Drugs Continues

Interim Official Police Statistics Reflect Escalating War on Illegal Drug Business in Bali.

Bali News:
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Statistics released by Bali's anti-narcotic police squad covering the first seven months of 2005 bear stark witness to the intensifying crackdown on illegal drug use now underway in Bali.

Police raids on neighborhoods known to harbor local drug dealers and a new Presidentially mandated "zero tolerance policy" for drugs use in Indonesia has resulted in 267 arrests (249 cases) in Bali for the period January-July 2005. Of that total, 15 arrests involved foreign nationals.

Quoted in the Indonesian-language Bali Post, Bali's Chief of Police Irjen Made Mangku Pastika projected a 52% increase in narcotics-related arrests through the end of 2005 with the Island’s top law enforcement officer anticipating 450 total arrest by December 31, 2005. Based on current trends, Chief Pastika is also estimating a 33% increase in the number of foreigners who will be placed under arrest for illicit drug use by the end of the current year.

Of the 267 drug arrests made through the end of July, 15 of those arrests (5.6%) involved foreign nationals. For the entire year of 2004 police made 314 arrests of which 19 (6%) were foreigners.

Currents statistics published on demonstrate that while foreigners involved in illicit drugs remain a minority this group may bear a disproportionate responsibility for the amounts of hard drugs seized by local police. Of the 8.3 kilograms of heroin seized by Bali police during the 7 month period January – July 2005, 100% of this amount originated from the arrest of the "Bali 9" – a group of 9 young Australians arrested in Bali on April 17, 2005. Latest press reports indicate that Indonesian State Prosecutors are likely to seek the death penalty for all nine defendants case when the "Bali 9" go to trial in late September or early October 2005.

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